Durham County Health Director Brian Letourneau confirmed Tuesday that the 2-year-old Durham child was infected with a virulent strain of the common Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium. There are various forms of the bacteria, often found in feces and the digestive tracts of mammals, including humans.
State and county health officials, however, are still trying to pinpoint the cause of the recent outbreak. A children’s petting zoo at the N.C. State Fair is suspected in some cases, but Letourneau said it’s possible there might be more than one source.